Exped lightning 60

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Exped lightning 60

Postby norts » Fri 02 Aug, 2013 10:39 pm

I have just bought the Lightning 60. I could not find alot of reviews on this pack, it is fairly new on the market. I thought I would give a bit of a review of my initial impressions. I will update this review after a few field trials. I won't go into the details of the pack- a quick google will soon get you all those.
I purchased the pack at Bogong in Melb.I couldn't find a retailer in Tassie. The sales people were very helpful and were obviously walkers and climbers and not just retailers. I actually got 10% discount as I was able to give some advice to one of them about an upcoming walk on the OLT.


Pros
Weight 1.11kg on my digital scales - listed at 1.15Kg
Nice clean lines, I dont like packs with all sorts of bells and whistles.
Solid suspension system - the hip belt feels solid and comfortable. I wore the pack with 20kg for about 3/4 an hour and hardly knew it was there. Admittedly I was only standing around talking.
Easily adjustable suspension system, will make it very easy to do minor adjustments to get the fit exactly right.
Hip belt pockets - I might not have to use a bum bag anymore.
The hip belt tightening is the pull into the middle(like One Planet?), you can cinch it up tightly very easily.

Concerns
Bellow pockets look a bit light, may rip easily - I didn't purchase this pack for scrub bashing - it's mainly for the AT next year.
Same thing for the hip belt pockets
The compression straps seem to be very light.
The adjustment for suspension system -back length is very simple maybe too simple and could slip, I have put an extra buckle(dont know what else to call it on)the strap to stop the original from slipping
Will need to be careful with packing, it is a framed pack but there isnt much between the pack and your back. I may put my sit pad down the inside of the pack to help with that.

More to come once I have used it in anger

Roger
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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby ninjapuppet » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 8:44 am

Looks like a clean neat pack Norts
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Backcountry gear list the specs as 1.1kg which is pretty light for a 60L pack
http://www.backcountrygear.com/exped-lightning-60.html
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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby Giddy_up » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 9:22 am

Hey norts,

I've just purchased one as well. Just waiting for it to arrive. I am like yourself and won't be scrub bashing with it but for on track walks I think it will be a great.


"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards"
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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby norts » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 10:39 am

Great minds think alike
A trick I was told(or did i read it) was that when packing pull the internal pocket up and the lay it across the top of your gear, then when you access the pocket from the outside it is not squashed flat by all your gear. One of the bugs that a minimalist pack like this has.

I hope the pack works out for you Giddy
Roger
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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby Giddy_up » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 12:42 pm

The other thing norts that I am going to try is unpick the side pockets where the compression strap runs and sew a hole so to speak and thread the compression strap through underneath. This will allow full use of the pockets without the strap in the way but won't compromise the compression.



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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby radson » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 2:42 pm

I too recently bought a 60 l exped backapck (backcountry 55 and yeah wow, I think these packs are really under-rated/unreported. Slim clean lines, unbreakable buckles, alamost waterpfoof with its dty bag design, lightweight and minimalist harness. I bought mine from mountain equipment in Sydney.

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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby Giddy_up » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 3:08 pm

Hey radson, I tried that pack and did a little show and tell on it here a while ago. Wasn't right for me, but I note now that they make that same pack in 80l and a whopping 100l. I'd hate to fill and carry 100l though.


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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby norts » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 3:41 pm

I saw it (100L) on the wall when I was looking at the Lightning. No way I was going to even take it of the wall.

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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby KANANGRABOYD » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 6:10 pm

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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby norts » Thu 05 Sep, 2013 2:38 pm

Well I have had two walks now with Exped Lightning 60. Maria Island and Wylds Craig. Not hard long walks so durability has not been tested. It will now be hung up until I do the AT next year.
The minuses first:
The top of the aluminium stay popped out of the top sleeve and continued to do this on both walks whenever I picked up the pack, I finally worked out that after adjusting the back length you need to pull the velcro up very tightly so that it pushes the top of the stay up into the sleeve. My fault for being lazy and not doing this, although something in Expeds literature that explains this would be handy.
You need to be careful how you pack it, if something is protruding it can rub on your back.
I think the side pockets wouldn't last long in any scrub.
The compression strap that goes across the top of the pack and clips at the front has to be undone if you want to access the small zip compartment, annoying but you don't have to use this strap and it can be taken off. I want to keep it on as I will use to hold a piece of clothing on a day that requires "great coat on, great coat off".

The pluses:
It is comfortable to carry, I did bend the stay slightly to keep it away from my back, I handled 18kgs very comfortably.
The zip pouches on the waist belt are very good, I can keep a compass, lip balm and a few chews in them( I usually carry a bum bag for that, but don't need to with this pack)
The deep side pockets for water bottles are good and because I use a homemade drinking system the compression strap across the pocket(which some ppl have complained about) doesn't bother me as I am not taking my drink bottle out all the time.
I emailed Exped about the issue with the stay and had prompt responses and helpful advice.

I am happy with the pack and think it will work for me when doing the AT.

Hope this helps anyone contemplating this pack as I haven't been able to find many reviews on it.
If anyone has any questions about the pack please feel free to ask.

Roger
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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby wayno » Thu 05 Sep, 2013 2:42 pm

is it waterproof? try a pack float between the islands,,, 8)
from the land of the long white clouds...
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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby norts » Thu 05 Sep, 2013 4:03 pm

I wouldnt think so. It uses the roll top closure but that doesn't mean the bag is waterproof. Wherever the pack has been sewn there is no seam sealing, just sewn straight through the bag. I never expect a pack to be waterproof. Always use a pack liner, I am not going to use a pack cover as the dyneema does not seem to soak up any water like my two canvas packs.

Roger
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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby norts » Fri 31 Jan, 2014 4:27 pm

I have finally used this pack on an extended walk, PDT/SCT.
It is the most comfortable pack I have ever used, it handled nearly 20kgs very comfortably. The largest load was with 7 days of food.
It does have a wear issue on the hip belt pockets, the shoulder straps have worn the corners of the hip belt pockets. I am thinking of a way to prevent this getting worse, I will probably just put some gaffer tape over it.
I like using the internal pocket but the one accessed from outside the pack(you need to watch the video to see these described) is nearly useless when the pack is full. It was easier to just undo the roll top and access the internal pocket, which I always left lying on top of the gear rather than hanging down.
I had no more issues with the stay popping out.

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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby kitty » Thu 20 Mar, 2014 1:51 pm

See post below
Last edited by kitty on Sun 23 Mar, 2014 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby kitty » Thu 20 Mar, 2014 6:51 pm

Hi Roger, I'm new to this forum and I wrote a reply, but not sure if it worked, so I'm trying again.
I am looking into getting the women's lightning 60. You mentioned you were going to try a mod to thread the compression strap through the pocket, instead of over..did it work? I like using side pockets, so the functionality of the pockets is important to me. And are you still happy with this pack?
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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby magichat » Sun 23 Mar, 2014 1:13 pm

Was playing with the 45L one in Bogong last week. I almost bought it.

I have an Aarn pack I use and love when I go out with my kids, looking for an option for the travelling light on solo walks plus something the Mrs can use to come out with the rest of us.

I was very taken with the design, the Al stay and the quality hip belt and suspension system make it look like an excellent option.

Im just deciding between this an a Zpacks Arc Blast (a little more expensive but only 500 grams) or something similar.
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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby icefest » Sun 23 Mar, 2014 1:43 pm

magichat wrote:Im just deciding between this an a Zpacks Arc Blast (a little more expensive but only 500 grams) or something similar.

I can happily tell you that the Arc Blast is incredible to use. It becomes uncomfortable when loaded above 15kg. Best is below 10.
Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful.
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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby hobes » Sun 23 Mar, 2014 4:16 pm

Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby kitty » Thu 20 Mar, 2014 6:51 pm

Hi Roger, I'm new to this forum and I wrote a reply, but not sure if it worked, so I'm trying again.
I am looking into getting the women's lightning 60. You mentioned you were going to try a mod to thread the compression strap through the pocket, instead of over..did it work? I like using side pockets, so the functionality of the pockets is important to me. And are you still happy with this pack?

Kitty

Roger has just started the Appalachian Trail so you may not get a reply for a while.

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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby kitty » Mon 24 Mar, 2014 10:32 am

Thanks Hobes re Roger on AT.
Thanks Magichat, wish we had Bogong in Perth as they have lots of variety, no shops here stock exped packs. I'm going to order a Women's 60L online and give it a go.
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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby kitty » Mon 24 Mar, 2014 7:48 pm

I asked Exped if they were changing the side pocket design. Here is their reply...
Current 2014 spring deliveries feature 2 notable changes what all the Lightning packs are concerned:
- a "proper" hydration hose exit port, as well as
- the option that the lowest section of the compression webbing also runs through the side stretch pockets rather than over it
Attachments
Lighnting side compr_pocket.jpg
Lighnting side compr_pocket.jpg (52.6 KiB) Viewed 8631 times
Lightning hydration port.jpg
Lightning hydration port.jpg (76.14 KiB) Viewed 8631 times
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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby norts » Thu 27 Mar, 2014 7:52 am

Kitty ,thanks Hobes, the pack is working well. The compression strap doesn't get in the way. It is a very comfortable pack.
Taz- my new trail name.

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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby Lizzy » Mon 31 Mar, 2014 1:27 pm

Just bought my hubby one of these packs. Was getting gear ready & picked up his old pack- weighed a tonne & when I checked inside was empty :shock:
So I nipped off to the local outdoor shop and picked up an Exped pack with fingers crossed it would fit ok. Luckily it did :D and even though he is not as into lightening his load like I am he still appreciated the difference. Maybe I have a covert 8)
Side pockets fit the water bottle well and hip pockets the camera. It was easy to adjust. Overall a no fuss, light pack- so far so good. Survived scraping thru the rocks of the budawangs. Will be interesting to see long term durability but I won't mind if it doesn't last quite as long as the old bombproof macpacs (triple weight!)
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Re: Exped lightning 60

Postby roysta » Mon 31 Mar, 2014 7:45 pm

I'll be road testing my Arc Blast 60 for the first time next Monday/Tuesday.
I think anyone looking at the Exped Lightning might well think about the Z Pack pack.
Will do a new post on this next week.
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